Report: China Magazine Industry Booming

By Steve Smith

According to a detailed report in China Daily this weekend, magazines are thriving in the high-growth economy in China. The newspaper says that in its recent launch of a China edition of Bloomberg Businessweek, 350,000 copies were sold at newsstand.

Unlike the U.S. market, there appears to be no reticence about print advertising in this market. The Beijing-based CTR research group reported that magazine revenue grew 15% in the first three quarters of 2011, reaching $2.04 billion.

Fortune magazine reports in the story that its circulation for Fortune China is 182,000, up from 50,000 when it launched in 1996.

Conde Nast has been aggressive in its China outreach, with editions of Vogue, GQ, Self and Architectural Digest. Chinese law requires that foreign publishers work with a native-owned partner to distribute in this market. In a separate China Daily article, Conde Nast China’s managing director Cao Weiming says that the company performed extensive research of the Chinese market in the 1990s before embarking on the strategy. The company’s first books appeared in the Chinese market in 2005.

The UK city magazine TimeOut is experiencing traction in its Chinese editions, the article reports. The title has found a niche among ex-patriots, the diplomatic community and travel locales, pushing circulation in shanghai and Beijing to 130,000.